Like father, like son
Ky-Mani Marley
Ky-Mani yearns to star as Bob Marley

In March, it was announced that Paramount had selected Reinaldo Marcus Green to direct the company's movie on the life of Bob Marley. No actor has been named to play the lead role, but Ky-Mani Marley, the reggae legend's son, thinks he would be ideal.

“Absolutely! A di dream role dat!” Ky-Mani exclaimed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer this week. “It would be a joy an' a pleasure.”

Ky-Mani is in Miami putting the wrap on Vendetta (its working title), a movie in which he stars as Ice. He is also co-director (with Antoine Smith), wrote the screenplay and serves as executive director.

His brother and sister, Ziggy and Cedella Marley, and stepmother Rita are producers for the Marley biopic. No budget, date or cast has been disclosed for the project.

Green is currently enjoying considerable buzz for directing King Richard, the biopic based on Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams.

Given his acting experience and lineage, 45-year-old Ky-Mani believes he would be perfect to play his father who died in 1981 at age 36.

“Di authenticity, di whole energy, di vibe, everything. Who better to play him than me?” he asked, laughing.

For now, his focus is on Vendetta which cost US$1.5 million to make. Acting-wise, Ky-Mani is best known for his role as Biggs in Shottas, a 2002 drama that also starred Spragga Benz and Paul Campbell.

While not a box office smash, Shottas retains a massive cult following and continues to do the cable channel circuit.

Shottas surprise everyone. No one on dat set could imagine that Shottas would be what it is today,” said Ky-Mani. “It's hard to believe Shottas was done almost 20 years ago because literally every day someone mentions Shottas to me.”

He added that it also whetted his appetite for making films. His movie debut came in One Love which was released one year after Shottas, but Ky-Mani has since had cameos in several movies.

Though his primary focus is music, the singer has taken online directing/screenplay courses and personal acting lessons. He has also written six scripts.

“Dis is di first script dat has come to life. Dis project has surpassed my expectations,” said Ky-Mani of Vendetta. “It has a different storyline from Shottas but still have di action, still have di grit.”

Ky-Mani Marley has released seven albums since Like Father, Like Son which came out in 1996. Maestro, his previous solo album, came out in 2015.

Ky-Mani Marley
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

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